Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara was not stepping back from anti-terror operations, urging NATO ally US to stop its support of “terrorist organisations” in the region.
Turkey will conduct anti-terror cross-border operations "whenever necessary," the country's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said.
Erdogan made the comment on Monday, before a return flight from the G20 Leaders' Summit held in Rome, Italy.
"There is no stepping back from it," he said, calling on NATO ally US to stop its support of "terrorist organisations."
On the sidelines of the G20, Erdogan met with US counterpart Joe Biden on Sunday to focus "more intensely" on the economic ties, and discussed cooperation in Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, and the Eastern Mediterranean.
Erdogan said the two leaders also discussed Turkey's procurement of F-16 fighter jets from the United States.
"I didn't witness any negative approach," Erdogan said of the meeting, adding that he hopes to conclude the "sensitive issue."
F-16 fighter jets as compensation of F-35s
The Turkish president said the US proposed the sale of F-16 fighter jets as compensation for Turkey's payment for the F-35s.
In 2019, Washington announced that it was taking Turkey out of the F-35 stealth fighter jet program over Ankara's purchase of the S-400, a Russian defence system it bought after its efforts to buy US Patriot missiles were rebuffed.
The US claimed the Russian system posed a safety risk.
Turkey, however, stressed the S-400s would not be integrated into NATO systems, and thus pose no threat to the alliance or its armaments.
Ankara also repeatedly proposed setting up a commission to clarify the issue.
Delegations from the Turkish and US defence ministries plan to hold a second meeting on the F-35 issue in Washington in a few months, Turkish Defense Ministry sources told Anadolu News Agency on Monday.
The Pentagon announced last Wednesday that the two sides had held their first round of talks aimed at resolving the dispute.
Erdogan skips Glasgow summit
Erdogan said on Monday he had cancelled his planned attendance at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow because the security protocols were not met.
Erdogan had been due to travel to Scotland after his meeting with Biden but he told reporters on board his flight back to Turkey that the Glasgow event organisers had failed to address his delegation's security concerns.
"When our demands were not met, we gave up on going to Glasgow," the Anadolu News Agency quoted Erdogan as saying.
"This was not only about our own security, but also about the reputation of our country. We cannot accept the fact that they did not conform to normal diplomatic customs."
COP26 organisers issued no immediate comment.